FAA Flight Standards District Office: SEATTLE
NTSB Identification: WPR17FA044
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 29, 2016 in Dabob, WA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N52388
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On December 29, 2016, about 1844 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 182P, N52388, collided with terrain near Dabob, Washington. The private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the accident site during dark nighttime. A flight plan was not filed for the cross-country flight. The flight originated from Boeing Field International Airport (BFI), Seattle, Washington at 1816 with a planned destination of William R. Fairchild International Airport (CLM), Port Angeles, Washington.
After losing radio and radar contact with Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Approach Control the accident airplane became the subject of an Alert Notice (ALNOT) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A search was conducted by the U.S Navy and a Washington State search and rescue team. The airplane was subsequently located the morning of December 30, 2016. The wreckage was located about 1.5 miles south of Dabob, WA in steep, heavily wooded terrain.
A witness located at his residence, about 800 feet to the southwest of the accident site, reported that he heard the airplane flying southeast then east and that the engine was loud.
Review of radar data provided by the FAA revealed a primary target, consistent with the accident airplane, was traveling on a northwest heading climbing to about 2,800 feet mean sea level (msl) before descending and oscillating between 2,500 feet msl and 2,000 feet msl. The radar target then depicted three left 360-degree turns to a northerly heading, while continuing to oscillate between 1,700 feet msl and 1,100 feet msl before descending to its last radar target. The last radar target was about a half mile northwest of the accident site at an altitude of 1,675 feet msl.
The on-site examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane collided with trees in steep rising terrain and came to rest at the base of a draw between two hills. The left outboard wing section separated during the initial impact sequence and semicircular impact damage was noted to the leading edge of the wing.
The closest weather reporting station was located at Bremerton National Airport (PWT), Bremerton, Washington, located about 20 miles to the south of the accident site. A review of the weather revealed that conditions deteriorated after 1615 with an overcast ceiling of 800 feet above the ground level (agl). A further review revealed that at 1835, 9 minutes prior to the accident, the station disseminated an automated observation, that reported, in part, wind calm, 10 miles visibility, overcast ceiling at 600 feet, temperature 5° C, dew point 4° C, altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury.
According to the Astronomical Applications Department at the United States Naval Observatory, the official sunset was at 1626, the official end of civil twilight was at 1702, and the official moonrise was 1404.
The wreckage was recovered and transported to a secure facility for further examination.
Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email email@example.com.
Carla Clarke and Jon Bernhoft
Logan and Mackenzie were in the four-seat Cessna with their grandmother, Carla Parke, and her finance, Jon Bernhoft.
The four were flying back to Port Angeles after spending the day in Seattle when outside of Quilcene, officials say, the small plane went down. It’s still unknown what caused the crash.
“They were so loved, and so many people loved them, and they will truly be missed forever,” said Liz Echevarria.
Sending her kids on the plane always made Echevarria and her husband a little nervous.
“I had been on the plane before I let them go. I was really apprehensive about it. My husband, too. We were always really concerned about their safety. Not because we didn’t trust Jon but because it’s scary,” added Echevarria.
Logan and Mackenzie were students at Northern Heights Elementary in Bellingham, where school counselors have been on hand this week to help students and staff.
Liz said both Logan and Mackenzie have been on Bernhoft’s plane several times before.
It was something Logan loved to do.
“Logan was super excited to be on the plane and he would tell people he was the co-pilot, just because he got to sit in the front seat,” said Echevarria.
She said Logan loved to be outdoors in nature and with animals, while his sister loved to dance and make people laugh.
“I guess what I’ll miss the most is their smiling faces every day. Just being with them every day,” said Echevarria.
Pilot Jon Bernhoft and Carla Parke were a month away from getting married. The two had been together for almost two years.
Now, the family is planning a memorial service for the four victims.
Story and video: http://q13fox.com
Bernhoft, 63, and his fiancee Carla Parke, 61, were within a couple of months of getting married, friends say.
Her 9-year-old grandson and her 5-year-old granddaughter, both of Bellingham, died in the crash with them.
Bernhoft’s friends said they will remember him as a generous Rotarian who loved the outdoors, flying and his fiance.
“He was truly happy,” said Patricia McCauley, who has known him for more than 25 years. “I’m sorry they couldn’t have gotten married and had a long life together.”
He was a charter member of the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club, which had its first meeting in January of 1987, and attended King’s Way Foursquare Church in Sequim with Parke.
In the last couple of months, Parke had started the process of becoming a Rotarian, McCauley said.
The Rev. Mike Van Proyen of King’s Way said Bernhoft had for the last 10 years dedicated himself to Jesus Christ and God and did whatever he could do to help others.
Often that came in the form of auctioning flights on his plane to help fund a good cause, helping in international church and Rotary efforts and just taking people for flights, Van Proyen said.
“He’d use his plane to bless a lot of people,” he said. “He loved the Lord and wanted to do what was right for God.”
Van Proyen said during his last conversation with Parke, she had tears of joy because she had discovered that God truly loved her.
While he didn’t know Parke as well as he knew Bernhoft, he said they were a perfect match for each other.
“He really had fallen in love with Carla and Carla was bringing the best out in him,” he said.
Bernhoft had worked as a pharmacist across the North Olympic Peninsula, his friends said.
He had owned his own pharmacy in Sequim for about a dozen years before working at Safeway in Sequim, Olympic Medical Center, Albertsons in Sequim and the Forks Community Hospital.
McCaulley said he was a compounding pharmacist, meaning he could make pills specific to each patient.
At one point he was a traveling pharmacist serving small villages in southwest Alaska, said Jim McEntire, a member of the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club.
“I never would have thought about doing something like that, but that was Jon,” McEntire said.
He said he and Bernhoft had a lot of similarities and often enjoyed ranting and raving with each other about politics.
But when it came down to it, politics and beliefs didn’t matter — everyone was his friends, McEntire said.
“He’s just that kind of guy,” he said. “Jon was a tremendous friend.
“We have lost a terrific citizen.”
Russ Mellon, a Rotary member and longtime friend of Bernhoft, described Bernhoft as an outdoors-man.
Bernhoft would take Mellon and other Rotarians up to Alaska to go fishing and hunting, he said.
Andrew Sallee, president of the Sequim Valley Airport, said Bernhoft was a big supporter of aviation locally and that he loved to fly.
“I know he really enjoyed taking people flying out over the San Juan Islands,” he said. “He just loved airplanes and getting out in the sky.”
Like many others, Sallee is looking for answers as to what actually happened.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jon’s family and the other passengers’ families,” he said “It’s going to be a hard thing for them to deal with and digest.”
QUILCENE — Federal officials on Saturday scoured a Thorndyke Creek ravine where an eyewitness reported that a small aircraft “just dropped from the sky” Thursday and crashed, killing four people.
Michael Haas, Jefferson County prosecuting attorney and coroner, identified the victims as Sequim pharmacist and pilot Jon R. Bernhoft, 63, his fiancee Carla Parke, 61, and her grandchildren — a 9-year-old grandson and a 5-year-old granddaughter, both of Bellingham.
Shane Stevenson, a detective for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Traffic Safety Board were working to extract the wreckage from the ravine Saturday.
“Everything is centered on getting the wreckage out of there,” he said.
Stevens didn’t expect officials to know what caused the plane to crash for weeks or possibly months.
Bernhoft was listed as co-owner with Gerald E. Lematta of Sequim of the four-seat Cessna 182, according to FAA records.
Autopsies are tentatively set for Tuesday in Kitsap County, Hass said.
The plane’s wreckage “was not spread out all over, or anything,” Jefferson County Undersheriff Joe Nole said Friday.
An eyewitness said there was no fire.
“Someone described it to me like it just dropped from the sky,” Nole said.
The aircraft crashed in the woods roughly a half mile east of Toandos Road near the intersection with Coyle Road, east of Quilcene, Nole said.
The plane was found 40 feet in a ravine on Thordyke Creek.
“It was rough terrain,” Nole said.
According to state Department of Transportation officials, the plane took off from Boeing Field in Seattle bound for Port Angeles just after 6 p.m. on Thursday.
John Nutter, director finance and administration for the Port of Port Angeles, said Bernhoft was not renting a hangar at the port’s William R. Fairchild International Airport facility.
The closest airport to Fairchild is Sequim Valley Airport.
The Cessna lost contact with air traffic control at roughly 6:44 p.m. Thursday.
The crash was called in by a resident of Coyle Peninsula just after 7 p.m. Thursday night, Nole said.
Sheriff’s deputies were assisted in their search by fire personnel from Quilcene Fire Rescue and, later, a crew from the Transportation.
Transportation officials had been contacted by the FAA after air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane on Thursday night.
The Transportation crew used an emergency transmitter locator to get the general location of the plane, Nole said.
The wreckage was not found until 8:16 a.m. Friday by a Transportation crew along with personnel from East Jefferson Fire Rescue and a U.S. Navy helicopter from Whidbey Island.
Nole said the Sheriff’s Department is providing security at the crash site while FAA and NTSB officials investigate the crash.
The plane wreckage was spotted Friday morning in a heavily wooded ravine where crews had been searching for a missing private plane that disappeared Thursday evening.
"Four occupants have been located in the wreckage but there were no survivors," state DOT spokesperson Barbara LaBoe said in a prepared statement.
She said the names of the victims will not be released until they have been positively identified and their families have been notified.
Cmdr. Tom Peterson, DOT's on-scene commander, declined to identify the victims but did say the plane's owner was not aboard.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said it was alerted at 7 p.m. Thursday by the Navy, which reported that a plane may have gone down on Coyle Peninsula. The Navy saw a plane at 1,200 feet having difficulty in weather conditions. Deputies searched Thursday night but couldn't find any wreckage.
As of midmorning Friday, search crews were still working through the scattered wreckage to recover the victims.
The plane, a single-engine Cessna, left Seattle’s Boeing Field headed for Port Angeles just after 6 p.m. Thursday and lost contact with air traffic control about 6:44 p.m. near the Dabob Bay area, east of Quilcene, LaBoe said. Emergency locator signals were used to define the search area.
Investigators have not yet announced a cause for the crash, but archived weather radar images show an intense squall was in the area at about the time the plane disappeared.
Joining in the search were Jefferson County Search & Rescue, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the state DOT, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Navy, Washington Emergency Management Division, Quilcene Fire District 2 and Port Ludlow Fire District 3.
Story and video: http://kval.com
PORT TOWNSEND — A team from the National Transportation Safety Board was headed this afternoon to the Dabob Bay-area site of a plane crash where the bodies of four Cessna 182 occupants were found, Michael Haas, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney-Coroner, said today.
“The NTSB has a team headed here,” Haas said.
Jefferson County Undersheriff Joe Nole confirmed the tail number of the Cessna was N52388, registered to two Sequim owners, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
Nole said he would not identify the plane’s occupants until next of kin are notified.
“They got all the bodies out of there,” Nole said this afternoon.
“The FAA is coming tomorrow.”
Searchers this morning located a small fixed-wing aircraft that disappeared from air traffic controller contact last night in the Dabob Bay area east of Quilcene, authorities said.
Using radar forensics data and the plane’s emergency locator transmitter, search crews were able to find the aircraft in a heavily wooded ravine, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Barbara LaBoe said.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the aircraft was flying to William R. Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles.
As of midmorning, search crews were still working through the difficult scene to recover the victims, she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigators will arrive on-scene Saturday morning to examine the aircraft.
Participants in the mission are from Jefferson County Search & Rescue, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, WSDOT, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Navy, Washington Emergency Management Division, Quilcene Fire District 2 and Port Ludlow Fire District 3, LaBoe said.
The single-engine plane departed Seattle’s Boeing Field just after 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Air traffic control lost contact with the plane at 6:44 p.m.
Emergency locator signals were used to define the search area.
QUILCENE, Wash. — Authorities say four people died in a small plane crash Thursday night in Jefferson County. There were no survivors.
The wreckage was found Friday morning using radar forensics data and the plane’s emergency location transmitter, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The names of the victims have not yet been released. Officials said more information would be released at a later time by law enforcement or the medical examiner’s office.
The plane, a single-engine Cessna, left Boeing Field in Seattle around 6 p.m. Thursday headed for Port Angeles. The plane lost contact with air traffic control at 6:44 p.m. in the Dabob Bay area, east of Quilcene.
The Federal Aviation Administration then contacted WSDOT which is the agency in charge of all aerial search and rescues in the state.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office conducted a ground search. A U.S. Navy helicopter was searching overnight until it was called off because of poor visibility.
A civil air patrol plane was also scheduled to join the search Friday morning.
SEATTLE -- Four people were killed in a plane crash near Quilcene, Wash., the Washington State Department of Transportation said Friday.
The wreckage of the single-engine Cessna 182 was found in the area of Dabob Bay.
WSDOT says the plane left Boeing Field for Port Angeles just after 6 p.m. Thursday and lost contact with air traffic control at 6:44 p.m. near Dabob Bay.